Iranian filmmakers are winning the attention of the international community.
“A Separation”, won an Oscar in 2011 and brought to international audiences Iran’s film industry under the current regime. But those in the industry emphasize that other notable productions go well beyond regime-approved portrayals of daily Iranian life.
Asian Age reports:
From 2015’s Berlinale triumph of Taxi to a couple of fresh American-made movies including a dark comedy by the maker of the groundbreaking Persepolis, and other films hitting screens abroad, the output is challenging Tehran’s censors and easy categorisation.
“Iran has strong art and cinema” that will thrive no matter the adversity, exiled Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf said as he presented his latest movie, The President, about a central Asian republic’s dictator toppled in a revolution and running for his life.
“There is hope for this cinema, more than for the life of the dictatorship in Iran. There is hope that one day we don’t have this regime but we will have a good history of Iranian cinema.”
Taxi by Jafar Panahi, a dissident director living in Tehran who is defying a ban by the government there on making movies for 20 years, is the latest big success. His film, smuggled out of Iran, took top prize at the Berlin film festival in February.
Despite the accolade, Taxi won’t be shown in Iranian cinemas. But it will certainly be seen anyway by Iran’s legions of film fans who pay a dollar or two for bootleg DVDs in a thriving underground market.
That same market will also offer The Voices, a less-lofty, more commercial movie by Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian-French director behind the award-winning 2007 black-and-white animation Persepolis.
The new film, a macabre comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as a man pushed to murder by his talking pets, has nothing at all to do with her native country. It can be seen as part of a deliberate plan in her evolution to becoming a director first.
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